Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hanging In There...

Hello, Loyal Readers (Momm and the City, etc.)

I'm still here, life got a bit crazy, I'm working in Bend, Oregon this week, and I have the stomach flu! Such a wonderful combo! I have a great update for the Blog regarding my attendance at the Fremont Festival and Street Fair last weekend (think Naked Bicyclists). I'll write that up shortly, when I'm home and feeling better and not living with the Rocket Scientists that work in this hotel.

Thanks so much to all who responded to my poll. I'm not sure what to do with that information - what it told me is that it doesn't matter what I write as long as I write something. That's very humbling, and a little hard to process.

PS....And Beth, yes, your eulogy will begin, "She taught me how to groom a Crestie....give it Viagra"

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy 14th Birthday Carson!

My happy old man is 14 today. He's not getting around much these days, but he's otherwise healthy and content.

The update from Carson's dad today says "Well Carson's celebrating by sleeping on the deck and obsessing about the family of rabbits that have made the backyard their new home. The babies are about the size of a tennis ball. Have dug a den next to the deck in the grass. He's very excited."

I'm sorry buddy, my photos are all on the computer in storage.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Meet Jenn And The City

In response to a chain email from my friend Beth....

Welcome to the 2008 edition of getting to know your friends! Here is what you are supposed to do, and try not to be lame and spoil the fun.Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then send this to a bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person who sent it to you.

Have fun and be truthful!

1. What is your occupation? Business Analyst, Writer, Ringmaster
2. What color are your socks right now? -- Bare tootsies!
3. What are you listening to right now? Shrek the Third
4. What was the last thing that you ate? --- Skinny Cow Mint Ice Cream Sandwich
5. Can you drive a stick shift? You betcha!
6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My step-dad - Happy Father's Day!
7. Do you like the person who sent this to you? This is the woman who taught me that a groomed Bichon Frise should look like a Chrysanthemum, and a groomed Chinese Crested should feel like a, well, we're striving for a PG rating here....of course I do!
8. How old are you today? A day younger than tomorrow!
9. What is your favorite sport to watch? -- All of them. Except baseball. Sorry Babe Ruth....
10. What is your favorite drink? – Talking Rain Lemon-lime sparkling water
11. Have you ever dyed your hair? Recovering blonde
12. Last time you hugged your whippet?--Today! (Okay, this really said "child" and not "whippet". I used a little poetic license...)
13. Favorite food? All of it.
14. What was the last movie you watched? See above
15. Favorite day of the year? Any with sunshine....
16. How do you vent anger? You take some PVC and some duct tape and a fan.....Home Depot can help...
17. What was your favorite toy as a child? My books. And the stories I told myself.
18. What is your favorite season? Old Bay. Oh. I don't think I read that right....
19. Ocean or pool? Oh, So Ocean!
20. Cherries or Blueberries? cherries
21. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? Sure!
22. Who is the most likely to respond? -- ????
23. Who is least likely to respond? -- Since I'm putting this on the blog, #22 and #23 lose relevance.
24. Living arrangements? -- Three Ring Circus...
25. When was the last time you cried? -- I don't really know! Last year?
26. What is on the floor of your closet? -- Shoes, dirty laundry, bags of clothes for Goodwill
27. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending to? See #23.
28. What did you do last night? Worked out. Watched t.v. Submitted articles to magazines.
29. Hawaii or Florida? –Florida!
30. What inspires you? -- A really well-written story.
31. What are you afraid of? -- Failure, heights, death, public speaking. I have so many fears they're boring. Not even worth going there.
32. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers: -- cheese
33. Favorite dog breed? – Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever..................NOT. Duh.
34. Favorite day of the week? -- Any one where I'm not at work!
35. How many states/provinces have you lived in? – Lived in or resided in? There is a difference here.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Laptop Rehab

My laptop needs an inpatient program.

For some time now and without warning, mid-Visio Business Process Model workflow, it flips a chip. For a moment, I see the blue screen of death flash before my eyes, followed quite cheerfully by the Dell reboot screen.

Like all good enablers, I've learned to deal with its issues. I can compensate by saving my documents regularly to my local drive. It's really not that bad, I tell myself. For the most part, it's a good laptop. In most cases, it is quite reliable, it contains all the programs I need to do my job, and it performs well for personal use. It tries very hard to stay the course and behave functionally. But every now and then, it falls off the Intel wagon and all its weaknesses and insecurities get thrown heave-ho into the spotlight where even I, the co-dependent user, have to admit that an intervention may be necessary.

I love my laptop, really I do. And I'm not wholly kidding when I refer to myself as the co-dependent user. Part of the reason Dell Latitude D630 hasn't gone for inpatient help is that I selfishly don't want to be deprived of its company. How on earth would I update the blog without him? (And don't ask why the laptop has a gender. I couldn't explain that if I wanted to. And I don't want to.)

My other excuse for not admitting D630 to the Helpdesk Hospital has to do with the care he'd receive there. Our helpdesk is, like all helpdesks in my experience, completely UNhelpful. One first sits in the waiting room being triaged by the on-call technician, who fusses over his clipboard and asks idiot questions between taking frantic phone calls on the help-line:

Dr. Unhelpful: Did you re-boot?
Me: That's what it does when it fails, it reboots itself. Why would I do it again?

Riiinnnnngggg - "Helpdesk, this is Dr. Unhelpful." "You spilled what? On your keyboard? All right, bring it up".

Dr. Unhelpful: Why didn't you bring it in sooner?
Me: Because the message I get says "the system has RECOVERED from a serious error". I figured RECOVERED means "all better". That's what recovery means, right?

Dr. Unhelpful: All right, fine. We'll take care of it sometime in the next year. But we'll have to deal with all the emergency laptop issues first. Did you enter a ticket?
Me: D630 is IMPORTANT DAMMIT! He's got serious mental issues. You mean to tell me that someone accidentally spilling coffee on their keyboard is more critical than my D630's suicide attempts? Have you ever SEEN the blue screen of death? It's traumatic, I tell you, TRAUMATIC. And my blog, er, WORK is business critical! I can't be without him.......

At which point, someone from the Project Management Office will arrive to render necessary support and also physically drag me kicking and screaming from the IT closet. "Now Jenn And The City, you're really not helping D630 here, why don't we go to the lobby and get a nice latte at Starbucks." That's their job, they calm temperamental Analysts.

And then Dr. Helpdesk will keep D630 for a week while I suffer through life with a "loaner". A loaner? That's like a tobacco patch. Or nicotine gum. A loaner my a$$. We're dealing with a serious co-dependency issue here, people!

Like I said, the laptop needs some rehab. I'm quite sure it has a problem. I, on the other hand, AM JUST FINE THANK YOU.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

(Yes, she's asleep like that)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Reluctant Adventurer

Dear Young Jenn on the 513 Bus:

I'm still not convinced that you really wanted to be going to Everett Friday afternoon. Maybe you didn't have anything better to do, or maybe your boyfriend just convinced you to go. You put on a good show of nonchalant rebellious independence, but your anxiety became palpable as the bus went north.

I know your name is Jenn because your BoyFriend's "friend" with the red plastic sunglasses called you that. I noticed, because it's my name too. The three of you boarded the 513 at the last downtown Seattle stop. The guys strutted carelessly down the aisle, and you followed them to the last seats available, in the articulated section of the bus. I was the "old" woman with red and brown hair curled up in the next window seat. Observing the three of you turned out to be much more interesting than the view of clogged south-bound I5 traffic.

The inner diva noticed your shoes first. Shallow of me, I know. But if your tattered Van's slip-ons survived this weekend in the rain, you're lucky. My second observation pondered the maximum number of piercings one lip could tolerate without falling off. I think your four pushed the envelope. Not to mention the additional decor in your eyebrows and nose. Unmistakably the statement of mutiny for your generation. But I have to say that the tight black jeans with a large hole in the upper-thigh were just plain ugly. I assume they were also a statement. You gave yourself away though, with your hair and makeup. The short dark curly hair style is just too cute, and your eye makeup, while a bit on the goth side, is nicely done. In spite of yourself, you care how you look. I do hope you had a coat in your grungy draw-string bag - your flowered sweatshirt isn't going to keep you very warm.

Maybe your BF had your coat in his backpack. His long tweed blazer wasn't much better than your sweatshirt. Although the blue bandanna tied around his forehead was a nice touch. I gave up counting his piercings. Red Plastic Sunglasses Guy (RSG) at least had a plaid wool shirt. Not much good in the rain though.

It was simply delightful of your BF to turn up his music to share with the whole bus. I, for one, always appreciate the opportunity to hear some alternative tunes. I'm definitely a minority that way though. And, if you get a chance, tell RSG he's never going to make it on American Idol. I think he and BF did succeed in disconcerting all the commuters, but I gotta tell you - never underestimate the ability of your average suburban adult to simply ignore the unconventional or uncomfortable. Ostrich-ism is their favorite coping skill. You probably got that from your parents too. But that's why no one answered when your BF polled random passengers asking if there was a bus from Everett to Points North (PN).

You sat quietly while BF and RSG debated how you all were going to get to your destination. It wasn't actually clear to me if they had anything more than a vague idea of a destination. But RSG did seem to think that if you could get to PN, he knew some people that might let you crash at their pad. If that didn't work out, they planned to acquire a tent.

While their conversation continued regarding wild partying that they'd done together, and apparent subsequent court appearances, you dug around in the backpack and came up with a two-liter bottle of Mountain Dew, some yogurt pretzels, and tortilla chips. The sugar will probably carry you for a bit, but eventually you're going to need some protein. From similar such road trips when I was in your age group, I can recommend beef jerky, trail mix, string cheese, and cranberry juice. I was glad to hear that your BF has food stamps that can be used at 7-11 should you need more food or beer. Good luck with the beer part, as none of you look even close to being legal to buy alcohol. Or cigarettes for that matter. Cigarettes probably aren't going to be an issue, as BF and RSG were both rolling their own on the bus.

I could tell you were embarrassed when RSG started rummaging through your bag. As I suspected, you care enough about yourself to want essentials. He hauled out some soap, your hair spray, your sequined makeup bag, and another pair of jeans. I can only hope you had shoes and a coat that he didn't get to. Let me tell you though, sister, that any BF worth keeping wouldn't let their friends publicly paw through your personal stuff!

As the bus pulled into Everett, your BF was afraid you'd missed your stop. I told him you still had a ways to go until the main station. You turned to me with relief when I spoke - "Do you know if there's a bus to....."? you implored. But you couldn't finish the question, because you didn't know where you were going.

The last I saw of you was at Everett Station, reluctantly following the guys leap-frogging over benches in the direction of the PN bus bay.

Look out for yourself, young Jenn. And enjoy your freedom.


Older (and hopefully wiser) Jenn

Saturday, June 7, 2008


My good friend Felix didn't like my casting choices for the Jenn and the City movie. He voted for someone else.

I so don't identify with Liv Tyler. She's absolutely beautiful, and I'm flattered, but I don't get it.

Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Guard your Toilet Paper...

Anyone out there got a whippet puppy?


Ya spend a fortune on chew toys, and what do they want to play with?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Holy Crap!

I am a step-monster. And I've no idea how to process mommy-ness.

I am mom to the dogs, yes. But that is as far as I've gone.

But now I have a Nick. And I know, I KNOW when the alarm should go off. I know when he should be in the shower in the morning. I know something is wrong when he's not there.

I know when I need to go to his room and see what is wrong, even if only to wake him up and get him going.

Holy Crap.

We Are Not Alone...

It's come to my attention that I'm not alone on the planet of Blog.
I arrived on the good ship Wenatchee in December, having made the long voyage across Puget Sound via the ferry, en route to a new world. Well, a new job in Seattle anyway. That commuting story spawned the first blog entry.
Over the past few months I've gotten to meet other blogging women. Separated by circumstances, stage of life, and "as the crow flies" miles, our blogs bring us together.
  • I re-live the pain of divorce with The Rotten Correspondent, RC, who's just beginning that journey.

  • I laugh loudly, and then admire the vulnerability of Rimarama, a young stay-at-home mom with a wicked sense of humor and engaging style.

  • I relish the unapologetic, no-holds-barred, out-there-ness of Cheryl at The Daily Blonde. I wish I had those cahones.

  • I appreciate the wacky reliability of my friend Patience at Patience-please. I want to be just like her when I grow up. Of course, that would mean that Patience grew up first, which seems unlikely.

  • I keep in touch with my darling friend Vanessa through Three-Ring Circus Sideshow. What would I do without the V? V learned all our lessons the hard way. I learned the easy way. And so her stories will always be better than mine.

I needed to know these women YEARS ago. And they probably needed to know me.

RC asked recently who you'd want to play YOU in the movie of your life.


That's tough. RC picked Sandra Bullock. Good choice.

I'm still debating.

How about:

Love Jodie Foster. And she's got the spark and determination required... :-)


Okay, not a great photo, but I've always identified with Minnie Driver.

Picture Minnie trying to convince Tara to relinquish her latest chew toy - Nick's shin guard. Such a glamorous life...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Fun Monday #4

Karisma is our hostess this week - the assignment is:

The topic for Fun Monday this week is......I MADE IT MYSELF!I think the title pretty much says it all, but for those of you who may still be wondering, I would like to see or hear about things you have made with your own two hands (or feet, Im not fussy!) We all have different talents and abilities, maybe you like to sew or knit, chisel or sculpt, draw or paint? Whatever your talent is, please share it with us this week.

Well. Does the blog count? That's my favoritest thing I've made. I'm not particularly creative otherwise. I have a decent eye for colour and decor, but you can't count that as something you "made with your own two hands".

Oh wait. I've got something. It even comes with a story.

I can do a reasonably decent job of beading, but I'm not great. And I haven't done it for awhile, it's on my list of things to pick back up. But I am proud of this necklace.

Unfortunately the pic isn't so good, but the sunflower pendant was a gift from my dad - he bought it in Japan for me about 37 years ago. I think I was four or five anyway.

It came on a plain gold chain. Loved it as a kid, put it away for 25 years, and then during one of those jewelry box purging moments I came across it again. I still love the pendant, and I cherish the fact that my dad gave it to me when I was a kid. But I wasn't so crazy about the chain.

So I got the idea to remodel it a bit. I didn't have a clear idea of what I wanted it to look like, only that I wanted to showcase the pendant and maintain an oriental feel.

I think it turned out pretty darn good! And I wear it at least once a week now.

So now go to Karisma and check out what everyone else on Fun Monday can make!

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish...

Today I'm sharing a little Seussology. My theory is that you can learn an awful lot about someone by inquiring about their favorite childhood Dr. Seuss book.

I did a little inquiring.

The OCD accountant - "The Five Hundred Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins"

Go figure.

A crazy programmer friend with the highest IQ of anyone I've ever met in person - "On Beyond Zebra"


A very strange passive aggressive person - "Hop on Pop"

That one worries me.

I think there's room here for a doctoral thesis. But I'm not going there.

What brought this to mind was my bus ride home last Thursday. In the downtown Seattle shopping district, between one of the ten million Starbucks and PF Changs, across from Macy's, stood a man in hip waders with a fishing pole.

How do you tell that story? I can't make this stuff up. I only caught a glimpse of him as the world according to the 510 Express continued to rotate on its axis to the I5 on-ramp.

For the next 45 minutes I pondered a fish tale. An actor, on his way to work to a play or promotional gig? Was there someone in a salmon suit around the next corner that I didn't get to see? (Flashback to the Ivars commercial where the guys ran around with giant clamshells over their heads...)

A legitimate fisherman who went 20 miles out of his way to find a Starbucks because he couldn't do without his venti caramel machiato?

Or maybe an interesting sort with a non-traditional idea of how to dress while window-shopping on Fourth Avenue.

I don't know, but I could (and did) go on and on with these trains of thought.

Oh. MY favorite Dr. Seuss book?

And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street

The first Dr. Seuss book. Wherein all poor Marco sees on his way home from school is a plain horse and wagon. But by the time he arrives home he has fabricated a fabulous parade of interesting characters and activities. When his father asks him what he saw, he of course tells the truth about the horse and wagon.

Possibilities abound in this world, you just have to find them.

And my friend with the hip-waders? His favorite Dr. Seuss must be...

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish....

Happy June 1!

Jenn and the City

An Award

An Award
Thanks Patience!

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